公民権運動を巡る旅(アラバマ州モントゴメリー・セルマ)

アラバマ州は公民権運動の発祥の地でもある。

日曜日、まずアラバマ州セルマという小さな町を訪れる。先日のハンツビルといい、アラバマ州は半袖で過ごせるくらい温暖です。
黒人の住民が多いこの町で、1965年公民権運動の黒人のデモ隊と警官が衝突。無抵抗のデモ隊に対し、催涙ガスや警棒での殴打が行われ、後に血の日曜日事件(1965年)と呼ばれる。

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エドモンド・ぺタス橋を遠景から。この橋で、血の日曜日事件の惨事がおきた。

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エドモンド・ぺタス橋。車を近くに停めて、歩いて渡ろうかと思っていたが、なぜか怖くて車を降りることが出来なかった。

橋を渡りそのまま国道80号線を西に走り、モントゴメリーへ。

公民権運動の発端となった、バスボイコット運動の舞台、モントゴメリー。"I have a dream"の演説で有名なキング牧師が、この地で公民権運動の発端となったバスボイコット運動を指導し、後に公民権運動を全米に展開。
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公民権メモリアル 公民権運動で犠牲になった人達の名前が刻まれています。

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もちろんメモリアルの筆頭に、メンフィスで凶弾に倒れたキング牧師の名前が。

公民権法制定から45年、肌の色に関係なく努力すれば大統領になれる時代がやっと来ました。

公民権運動については、高校の歴史の教科書で一文をさらっと目にしただけでした。実際に訪れてみることで、資料を見たりする機会が増えたりして、アメリカの歴史に対して少しは理解が深まりました。

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モントゴメリーは観光都市ではなく、ただの田舎町です。ですから、日曜日は誰も外を歩いておらず、店という店も閉まっていてひっそりとしていました。 古い建物が随所にあり、街自体は小奇麗な街です。

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